Guadeloupe, along with Martinique, is a French territory, made up of five islands in the Eastern Caribbean. France has fought like hell for more than 500 years to keep the island, which is a good indicator of how amazing the location is. And the French people take full advantage of their island paradise, with more than 80% of Guadeloupe’s tourists visiting from the motherland. Any time is a good time to visit Guadeloupe, although the months of February to April tend to be the driest. Guadeloupe offers tourists with a ton of great things to do, all in the idyllic island environment.
The official language of Guadeloupe is French. English is spoken in larger tourist centers. Good manners go a long way when speaking to the local people. Begin your conversation with “Bonjour,” rather than just launching in to what you want.
The official currency of Guadeloupe is the Euro. To find out about the conversion rates, visit our currency converter.
Lodging options run the range from hotels to apartments to bungalows or villas or B & B’s. There are no official campgrounds, but camping is tolerated in some spots. Budget places start at around $40 (USD) per night.
Food and Drinks
You can drink the water on Guadeloupe, which is always a nice feature in a vacation destination. French and Creole food are, of course, widely available and fabulous. There are smaller, family-run options that are more budget friendly.
Carnival is an important event in Guadeloupe, as it is on most Caribbean islands. Ox-cart races and cock fights are available in the winter and early spring months. The Celebration of the Sea takes place in April. The Creole Blues Festival and Slavery Abolition Day both take place in May. Festival Guadeloupe is in July and the Women’s Cooks Festival is in August. Saints days take place in various towns throughout the year.
Getting There & Around
The following airlines offer service to Guadeloupe: Air Antilles Express, Air Canada, Air Caraibes, Air France, Air Tropical, Alpha Aviation, American Airlines, Caribbean Helicopters, Corsair, Delta Air Lines, Heli Inter Caraibes, LIAT, Marie Galante Aviation,
Ferries are available to the Saintes, Marie Galante, Désirade, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Marie-Galante, Désirade, St Maarten/St Martin, Saba and St Barth.
Bike and scooter rentals are the way to go on the islands of Guadeloupe, where few cars or public transportation is available. Buses are available on Pointe-à-Pitre or Basse-Terre.
Electricity is 220, 50 Hz European standard wall plugs. American appliances will need converters.
Things to Do
Active travelers can visit the miles of trails and waterfalls that span the island, and even climb the active volcano La Soufrière in the national park. All major water sports are available on the island, including diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, surfing and sailing. Everyone from divers & snorkelers to fans of glass bottom boats will fall in love with the Cousteau Marine Reserve, named after the man himself, Jacques Cousteau.
>>more information on Scuba Diving in the Caribbean
If you walk a bit, you can find a beach all to yourself. Nude beaches are available for those of you who enjoy the “plages nudistes.” Discover a new favorite writer with Guadeloupe’s prolific literary scene and enjoy the native music and dance, derived from the island’s French and African influences. On special occasions, look for the local women dressed in traditional clothing, with elaborate jewelry and head scarves. Sports lovers can take in the island’s favorite sport of football, as in soccer. When you get thirsty, rum distillery tours are available. Ox-cart races and cock fights are available in season.